Friday, July 2, 1915


Canon City, Colorado, June 25, 1915 - Harry Hillen, Denver 'boy
bandit" born July 13, 1889, slayer of Thomas Chase in October 1913,
last night took the step on the gallows drop that ended his life.  A
career of lawlessness marked by half a hundred crimes, was closed when
he walked upon the little square platform in the State Penitentiary
Death Chamber; a moment later he was dangling from the end of a rope.
He was pronounced dead at 10:30 o'clock.

Blamed Deed on Companions.

Until the final minute of his life Hillen maintained his innocence of
the murder of Chase in Denver a year and a half ago.  He blamed that
deed upon two companions, youths who had helped him in other crimes to
which he confessed to the Denver Police.

The last hour of Hillen's life began with the assembling of witnesses
and officials in the penitentiary.  The slayer had made his spiritual
peace earlier in the day, with ministrations by Prison Chaplin Blake
and the Rev. C. P. Ilsey, a Baptist pastor.  His sister, Miss Irene
Hillen, had spent most of the with him, bring confirmation of the news
that the governor had refused to interfere in the case.

His spiritual adviser, Chaplain Blake and Rev. Mr. Ilsey, stepped
forward, and in tones audible only to the man between them, commended
his soul to his maker.  Their rites performed, they retired.

Then the black cap - and from the group came shudders.  Heads were
averted and remained so until the end.

In a twinkling the guards had hobbled the prisoner, leaving him just
enough feet freedom to step backward once more.  His arms and wrists
were fastened to his sides and the guards adjusted the knot carefully
and then they stepped back.  A low word of command was given from some
one in uniform and obedient though he knew it was fatal, Hillen took
the step.  He felt the little platform sink slowly and he braced
himself rigidly.

The platform's sinking released an 800 pound weight in a side room.
The weight fell, carrying with it the other end of the rope which was
stretched over a series of pulleys.

The prison physician Dr. Hart Goodloe, stepped forward and examined
the pulse.  Shortly he pronounced Harry Hillen dead.

Message by Sister

When Hillen received a message from his sister in Denver saying she
had been unable to obtain clemency he seemed unmoved by the tidings.

"I hardly expected anything else" he said, with the same air of calm
that had characterized him through his battle against the law.

Secrecy as great as that preceding the hanging was maintained
afterward by those who had seen it.  Witnesses evaded questions by
saying they were not permitted to discuss the affair.